SC

The Man Who Blew Up Vincent Sheheen’s “Whore-Gate” Scandal

MEET JOHN OSBORNE …  By TAYLOR BROWN || I sat down to meet with South Carolina political operative John Osborne in his “natural habitat,” which turned out to be a Starbucks.  This bearded revealer of secrets ordered a mocha frappuccino, and we then sat down outside to chat while he drank…

MEET JOHN OSBORNE … 

IMG_3667By TAYLOR BROWN || I sat down to meet with South Carolina political operative John Osborne in his “natural habitat,” which turned out to be a Starbucks.  This bearded revealer of secrets ordered a mocha frappuccino, and we then sat down outside to chat while he drank his beverage and chain smoked Marlboro Reds (which I’ve since learned are called “Cowboy Killers”).

In this election cycle, Osborne has been an equal opportunity killer – of political aspirations.  He is the man who single-handedly cost establishment Republican Sally Atwater her primary election for state superintendent of education.  He’s also the man who “partially” cost Vincent Sheheen the South Carolina governor’s mansion, although Osborne doesn’t want to take “full credit” for breaking the scandal that effectively nixed Sheheen’s already slim gubernatorial aspirations.

After dispensing with awkward pleasantries, Osborne and I quickly got down to the hard and pressing questions about “whore-gate” – the flickers of which he fanned into a full-fledged political conflagration.

Missed this scandal?  Sheheen – still clinging to the faint hope of an upset win in South Carolina – “inadvertently” called incumbent Republican governor Nikki Haley a “whore” during a Democratic campaign rally last last month.  He almost got away with it, too, as the controversial exchange – and the laughter that followed his gaffe – was not included in the initial mainstream media coverage of the rally.

In fact “whore-gate” might have never become a story had Osborne not gotten involved.

Osborne told me he first mass emailed the story to various news pundits, people like Andy Shain of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper and his peers – yet not a single one of them picked up this damning story.  Well, except for FITSNews.

Sheheen’s gaffe – which quickly unspooled into a national scandal – transpired a week and a half before the election, perhaps the most critical time for a campaign.  It ended up being, as Osborne put it, “the final nail in Sheheen’s coffin,” though he cites Sheheen’s ineptitude in communication as one of the many reasons why he was a failed candidate from the very start.

NIKKI HALEY
NIKKI HALEY

Of course that didn’t stop Team Sheheen from venting over the incident – and pointing the finger of blame in Osborne’s direction.

While politicians like Haley and Sheheen seek (and need) the limelight, operatives like Osborne prefer the shadows.  And the accompanying secrecy.

Neither on nor off the record would Osborne disclose who he works for, and the same tight-lipped mentality carries over to his lack of taking credit for the brutal political assassinations that he’s carried out.

Despite FITS founding editor Will Folks trying to save some face in his recent “Haley Mandate” article, the truth is Nikki Haley dramatically increased the margin by which she defeated Sheheen this go-round.  And while Folks is correct in saying voter turnout was low (SCVotes puts the turnout at 43.64 percent – the lowest it’s been in at least four decades) the margin of victory can’t just be chalked up to the few who showed up at the polls.

According to the Associated Press, Haley’s support was due largely to “white evangelicals and tea party supporters … (faring) best among older voters, capturing 63 percent of that group compared with 46 percent among young voters.”  According to CBS exit polls, the female vote was split down the middle.

While a modestly higher percentage of women still voted for Sheheen than Haley, a higher percentage of women voted in this Midterm election (54 percent).  And when these percentages are broken down further into race, white women (who turned out at 35 percent) voted for Haley by a 71-26 percent margin.  Even six percent of Democratic women voters cast ballots for Haley.

“Whore-gate,” without a doubt, was partially responsible for Haley getting a supermajority of white women votes.

Osborne begrudgingly admitted that had the “whore-gate” scandal not blown up, the percentage of people voting for Sheheen would have “most likely” increased closer to 42 percent – still meager, but a full percentage point higher than he got in real life.  Additionally, whether or not Osborne admits it, thousands of women voters did not vote for the South Carolina Democratic Party pushed candidate because of the video Osborne force-fed to the state media and national MSM.

Hell, even Sheheen’s own county (Kershaw) went bright effing red!

Osborne, a former card-carrying Democrat, switched his political affiliation to the GOP back in September of 2013.  This, coupled with the fact that he still has many friends inside of the South Carolina Democratic Party made his promotion of “whore-gate” even more hurtful to some.  Rumor has it, Osborne even went to the South Carolina Democratic Party with the news that the story was about to be leaked.

A courtesy call, if you will.

I asked Osborne if he thinks “whore-gate” debacle is a career-ender for Sheheen (especially when coupled with his post-gaffe laughter and the “you gotta tell the truth” comment – both of which Haley referenced in responding to the debacle).

His response?  “Check Wikipedia,” he stated.

Indeed, a big chunk of Sheheen’s Wikipedia page is now specifically devoted to the fact that he called Nikki Haley a whore.  Osborne did hypothesize that Sheheen may be allowed to work in politics again, though, only because a double standard exists within the Democratic Party (Lena Dunham and Alec Baldwin, for example).

I continued to push this issue of the double standard and the Democrat-fabricated “War on Women,” raising the issue of whether this scandal damages their ability to claim “Sexism!” at the drop of a hat.  Osborne absolutely believes so.  Democrats have had the tables turned on them, and it is now their party fighting to keep a middle-aged white man who called an ethnic woman “a whore” from impacting the 2016 election cycle.

Osborne theorizes the best way for Democrats to recover is to have them nominate either Lizzy “I’m Really Native American, You Guys!” Warren or Hillary “I Got A Child Rapist Off Despite Knowing of his Guilt” Clinton.  Either way, Democrats are left hopelessly grasping at an ideal that the American public rejected in droves in this 2014 midterm election.

I asked Osborne if he thought “whore-gate” would generate sufficient national sympathy for Haley so as to give her a bigger chance of getting the GOP nomination for President – but he didn’t agree in this regard.

He believes Haley, and South Carolina, are far too “red” to have the breadth of appeal necessary to make it to the White House.

Also, Sheheen’s “whore-gate” caused yet another perception problem for the Palmetto State – opening up “old wounds for the people of South Carolina,” Osborne conjectured.  In other words even though “whore-gate” didn’t damage Haley at home – it did damage her home state on the national stage.

“When the former gubernatorial hopeful called Haley a ‘whore,’ intentional or not, it broke open those memories of allegations of Haley’s infidelity and the ignorant and racist statements about Haley by Dick Harpootlian,” Osborne said.

Indeed.  Not exactly the sort of image South Carolina needed to have reinforced heading into the 2016 presidential primary election.

Speaking of that race: Who does Osborne like?  Not surprisingly he’s playing those cards – like every political hand he’s dealt – close to the vest.  Which means candidates are likely to continue feeling his impact long before they figure out where the impact came from.

Taylor Brown is a 20-something Wofford College graduate who somehow got sucked into politics at an early age.  She is easily won over with Rush’s fast food, wine, and spirited political arguments.

***

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44 comments

jimlewisowb November 10, 2014 at 1:19 pm

John Osbourne

Perfect example of Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

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diamond jim:elections have con November 10, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Taylor. I am enjoying your articles however this incident didn’t have anything to do with Sheheen not defeating Haley. Maybe moved the ‘dial’ 1% for Haley from the polling I saw.

Haley won BIG because of her record of creating jobs .in SC , Barack Obama and Tom Ervin.

The voters decided CHARACTER does indeed matter.

Keep up the good work and if you find that ‘lost’ absentee’ ballot send it to me-we can always use an extra one around here. :-))))))

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a face in the crowd November 10, 2014 at 1:26 pm

If character mattered at all, Haley would have received 0.00% of the vote.

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James Fleming Jr November 10, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Can you define the word “Is”?

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diamond jim:elections have con November 10, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Ervin got 0.92%. Even IF what you said is true we still would have had a recount- <1%. :-)

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SomalianRoadCorp November 12, 2014 at 8:41 am

Exactly how high should someone who dropped out a week before the election and endorsed someone else, poll?

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diamond jim:elections have con November 12, 2014 at 10:07 am

After spending $4 MILLION $$$$’S? Higher than 0.92%. That means the wife may not have even voted for him. :-)

sparklecity November 10, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Character – from Queen Namrata????????
Keep drinking the kool-aid there skippy!!!!!

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diamond jim:elections have con November 10, 2014 at 2:11 pm

lol!!! I threw that in cause I knew that wouild cause you to ‘pop’ the cap on another 40 oz and hit that crack pipe!!!!!!!??????

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sparklecity November 10, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Thanks for proving to be the liar that I thought you were!!!!

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mamatiger92 November 10, 2014 at 1:36 pm

RTFA

Taylor only said about 5 times that the incident didn’t change the outcome. Sheesh.

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diamond jim:elections have con November 10, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Oh. I guess you can’t read ‘mamasocialist’. She used the word ‘partially’.
Checkmate!!!

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Libtard November 10, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Hey Taylor, Did you ask him his taste in music? and then try and be all hipsterific by telling him how much you admire Nas?

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Nas November 10, 2014 at 2:32 pm

I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.

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Libtard November 10, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Visualizing the realism of life in actuality, fucks who’s the baddest, a person’s status is based on salary- Nas “Lifes A Bitch”

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TSIB November 10, 2014 at 1:33 pm

This is pretty dumb, even by Fits News “standards.”

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James Fleming Jr November 10, 2014 at 1:37 pm

The Democrat Party throughout the country are a bunch of liars,misfits,Hypocrites and slanderous scum in my opinion. We all make mistakes and screw up but they ride race and gender into the ground and will stop at nothing to win. Again in my opinion Harry Reid is several steps below being a disgrace and so is Pelosi. The way the Party booed the name of God at the 2012 DNC Convention I never intend to vote for another Democrat on a statewide or National level unless something drastically changes my perception of the Party and its leadership. Hypocrite is to kind of word for them!

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erneba November 10, 2014 at 3:17 pm

I agree with you, they make it abundantly clear what they stand for and some people still flock to the Democrats. Most people operate under the illusion that this does not mean that all Democrats, at the state and local level operate this way. Does not matter, they support and vote for people that have these beliefs.

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Soft Sigh from Hell November 10, 2014 at 6:53 pm

On GOPers you can even smell the brimstone.

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Coffee Black November 10, 2014 at 1:52 pm

This bearded revealer of secrets ordered a mocha frappuccino….

Any credibility he had was just destroyed by this little nugget of information. Bet he has some wicked Arcade Fire bootlegs. Booooring.

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southmauldin November 10, 2014 at 2:41 pm

An idiot interviewing an idiot. I wonder how many “likes” and “basicallys” and “you knows” were mumbled during this so-called “interview”. I don’t know what her daddy is paying you to let her write on your blog, but you surely are getting shortchanged.

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Coffee Black November 10, 2014 at 4:21 pm

They capped the “interview” off by a totally awesome shopping excursion to Urban Outfitters.

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sparklecity November 10, 2014 at 1:56 pm

White Evangelicals and the Tea party are the ones who voted this time in droves and have a shitload of influence on who wins elections in South Carolina at present.
As far as women voting for Queen Namrata, I believe it was white Evangalical females (who might also be members of the Tea Party in addition) over the age of 45 who can claim a lot of credit for reelecting Queen Namrata (who happens to be on a junket to bring more jobs from India into South Carolina as we speak)
This will result in more jobs for Asian Indians who are either professionals (doctors,accountants,IT types,etc.) or owning more liquor/conveniance stores and motels than they already do.
I ain’t seen a motel yet that didn’t turn to shit after a few years of “management’ under an Asian Indian or anyone of them who are “professionals” who have admitted to a mistake (a great example being our beloved Queen Namrata).
Yep, these are the jobs/opportunities Queen Namrata will be bringing back to South Carolina and the voters have spoken!!!!!!!

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Motel Notell November 10, 2014 at 4:36 pm

About half way through this commentary it sounds as if you’re typing with white gloved hands, wearing a white pointy hood and robe. Ain’t seen a motel yet that didn’t turn to shit after a few years of “management” under an Asian Indian… obviously you’ve never heard of Rick Patel. Sure he’s buddy buddy with Steve Benjamin, but he’s improving motel/hotel properties left and right around Columbia and in the upstate.

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shifty henry November 10, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Taylor, here’s a suggestion— assume that most of the regulars on Fitsnews have read all of the comments, and may not want to re-read them in your articles. My guess is that 65% of your article is from the comments here. There must be a sub-culture of female writers around the USA who are competing for the lengthiest, repetitive articles. Anyway, keep trying…..

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Political op slash Uber Driver November 10, 2014 at 2:18 pm

From the photo it looks like this “dude” lured you back to his apartment for a photo session. How did that go?

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Photog November 10, 2014 at 2:42 pm

“It’s not art if you’re not naked baby.”

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tomstickler November 10, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Exsqueeze me: Lena Dunham and Alec Baldwin define acceptable behavior in the Democratic Party?

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That's not cream in your frapp November 10, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Did you ask Radagast if you could see the birds nesting in his beard?

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The Colonel November 10, 2014 at 2:52 pm

I saw that guy up in Greenville at the intersection of Laurens and Woodruff with a sign that said “Will play dirty political tricks or bathe for money”

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nitrat November 10, 2014 at 3:26 pm

If Sheheen’s Wikipedia page is full of ‘whore-gate’, all that means is that Republican operatives were busy entering the info, right? Who else would be interested?
You know Wikipedia is not a real encyclopedia, but something anyone can go into and add to, subtract from and edit the information that’s there, right?

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Buz Martin November 10, 2014 at 3:31 pm

You can smoke at Starbucks? Have not noticed people doing that.

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Coffee Black November 10, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Is this Starbucks attached to an uber shitty apartment complex overlooking a cesspool located in the Columbia area?

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Toyota Kawaski November 10, 2014 at 4:53 pm

He Dude Taylor!! How do u get such important friends? I one time shaked the hand that shook the hand of P.T. Barnum and Charlie Chan.

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shifty henry November 10, 2014 at 5:18 pm

One of my claims to fame was that I was only two degrees of separation from being picked as an escort to Luci Baines Johnson at an international soiree.

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aikencounty November 10, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Was that the cute one or the one with the good personality?

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shifty henry November 10, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Luci is the younger one ….

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Buz Martin November 10, 2014 at 4:57 pm

In other news, the assault charges against T-RAV have been dropped. Da Laws say it never happened.

Can’t imagine how Will managed to miss that one.

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Buz Martin November 10, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Heh.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein November 10, 2014 at 6:56 pm

PRO TIP:
Sheheen wasn’t going to win, anyway.
Like “snowball’s chance in Hell” wasn’t going to win.

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Soft Sigh from Hell November 10, 2014 at 8:19 pm

When do we get back to the good stuff, as in “What corrupts pols are going to get indicted next?”

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Frustrated Voter November 10, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Sheheen has no one to blame but himself.

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mark November 12, 2014 at 10:29 am

I think I know this guy. If I’m correct, he’s in serious disguise. Might work for Timmy and Nimrata.

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you know me November 12, 2014 at 10:31 am

Funding Charleston????????

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